Reforma is one of those typographic projects that does not go unnoticed. Well, truth be told, none of Alejandro Lo Celso’s projects go unnoticed, at least not by me.
Like other serial1 or “multiform” type families, Reforma explores versatility by way of a common skeleton wearing different outfits. In this case, though, Lo Celso also wanted to convey the nature and values of the institution that commissioned the project (the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina): tradition, excellence, diversity, research, and inclusion.
Reforma translates two of the client’s mandates — plurality and versatility — by incorporating three subfamilies of three weights (Blanca, Gris, and Negra) and two constructions: roman and italic. All share the same skeleton, from the classic (complete serif, oldstyle modulation) to the modern (sans serif, monolinear modulation) with an intermediate hybrid style that combines the qualities of the other two (subtle modulation and flare serifs). The family consists of twenty styles and was designed for comfortable, immersive reading — with the exception of the UltraNegra cut, created as a titling companion to use for impact in headings.
By addressing another client mandate — intellectual heritage — as a key concept, Lo Celso found a way to design a complex project without sacrificing personality in every style, and this is what I admire the most. He has crafted and mastered beautiful shapes that revisit the classic Roman epigraphic majuscules, from which the lowercase styles evolved in a friendly and warm interpretation.
Finally, Reforma is available under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-ND 4.0) license, in line with the policy of national education in Argentina: public, open, and free.
For all of these reasons, Reforma is a great addition to the typographic landscape, demonstrating how a typeface can empower the values of an institution.
- Muriel Paris proposes this name in her Le petit manuel de composition typographique (Paris, 1999).⤴